UK company reveals roadside solar powered service station plans
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Petrol stations may soon be replaced with solar-powered forecourts fitted with 24 charging spaces where vehicles can top up their batteries.
More than 100 are planned alongside busy roads and will let most electric and hybrid vehicles fully charge in less than 30 minutes.
Some smaller cars with high-speed charging can be fully topped up in just ten minutes, developers claim.
Photo / Gridserve/MailOnline
'Airport-style' lounges will be built as part of the £1 billion ($1.93 billion NZD) project, to provide travellers with shops, toilets and cafes to pass the time as their cars refuel.
Gridserve, a British firm based in Buckinghamshire, is behind the scheme and says more than 80 sites have already been confirmed, with more in the pipeline.
Construction at sites in York and Hull is expected to start before the end of 2019.
A lack of charging points, long-wait times and small ranges has limited the spread of electric cars and stunted their growth.
The government claims all new petrol and diesel cars will be emission-free by 2040 but critics have called this timeline overly ambitious.
Electric cars constitute only one per cent of all road vehicles but there are efforts to create infrastructure designed to make owning an electric car less arduous.
Toddington Harper, founder of Gridserve, says the forecourts and their familiar model to departure lounges and service stations would allow electric cars to become more commonplace.
He said: 'We plan to make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations.
'The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome, and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost.
'We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focused, brand new Electric Forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative.
'Within five years we plan to have more than 100 Electric Forecourts in use, with each supported by solar energy and battery storage.
'This infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, serve the grid, and help the UK meet climate and clean air targets.
'We are partnering with operators of fleet vehicles, developers, financiers of vehicles and infrastructure, EV manufacturers, retailers, local authorities, and others who share our vision.'
Current plans also include areas dedicated to fleet vehicles, with taxis and buses able to recharge.
Users will have the option of booking a place at one of the forecourts through an accompanying app or driving in.
Images of what the forecourts may look like were created by Aup, a design company.
Ricky Sandhu, lead and senior consultant, said: 'It is vitally important that we transition quickly to sustainable, clean new modes of transportation and energy production.'
- Daily Mail